So, I was reading ‘Good Health’ magazine yesterday and it mentioned a few interesting things about emotions.

Pretty much all our emotions serve a purpose.

Anger, serves to remind us, that we have either been disrespected or treated in a way that we do not deserve. So the function of anger is to motivate us to do something about this, to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

Sadness, serves to show us, we are either grieving, missing something or that we have lost something. Or all of those things combined sometimes. So the purpose of sadness is to sit with this feeling and work out what is the source and work out ways to move on from these feelings by resolving what is causing this.

Pretty much, we are encouraged to sit with these emotions and ride them out. Generally we should get some clarity as to why they are there. But not always. That is where a Psychologist or Counsellor can be helpful. As they can help us get in touch with ourselves more deeply and can often help us tap into the reasons behind these feelings and explore them.

Anger however, we are not supposed to act upon in a negative way. Such as doing something destructive for example, as this only escalates the feeling and that is not productive.

Anxiety, is a perfectly normal emotion. It has been there since we were in prehistoric times. It is there to awaken the flight or fight response. But this response hasn’t evolved with us. So, when we have intense anxiety or panic attacks, it is because our anxiety is reacting to a perceived threat. Which is why our heart races, we might get sweaty, and we start to feel nauseous. As these all serve to get us ready to fight or run(flight) But because anxiety hasn’t evolved with us, we still get the same reaction as we would have in prehistoric times. Like for example, if there was a tiger, our anxiety would help us decide whether to fight it or run from it. And panic attacks are from running with this anxiety and catastrophizing and thinking we are in very major, very real danger. Apparently the right thing to do when experiencing a panic attack is to just acknowledge what is going on and sit with the feeling until it passes.

So pretty much the message seems to be with emotions is, that they serve a very real purpose, a positive and motivating purpose and our job is to work that purpose out, so we can fix the issues causing the emotions and become happier as a result.

Never be afraid of your emotions. They are there to help you. The worse thing you can do is deny them and try to ignore them. As if you do this, they will build up and explode and those episodes take longer to pass.